While out and about, the other day . . . I struck up a conversation with an elderly lady. She appeared to be in her Eighty's and used a cane for support, while walking.
She told me her name was Betty, then began talking as though she had a mountain of words "bottled up" inside, and felt glad that she may have found someone who might "listen" as she spilled them out!
I was very surprised when she said she had been a "Writer" of short stories for many years, and writing columns for a magazine publisher. Betty went on to tell me about restaurants she had previously owned and operated, located near our Pittsburgh Airport. I was enlightened further, as she continued. Betty explained to me, her current activities, and said she was a volunteer "Secretary" at her church.
I wouldn't have guessed, as she spoke . . . from her appearance that she had done any of these things. Betty spoke at a steady pace, offering bits of interesting information, about her past. It seemed almost as if she was reinforcing herself as she spoke. Remembering that she had been a very active person in her community and was trying to continue in the same vein.
Betty told me of her family. She had three children who were very successful in their own right. Betty proudly mentioned her daughter who had dated a very famous singer, and how she and her husband had been invited, along with their daughter, to this singer's palatial home. I was given all the details regarding the meeting of the Mother, Dad and agent of this famous person!
I noticed her demeanor as she talked, I saw things that a person might miss, if they were not looking. I saw the gleam in Betty's eye, and the way she sat up straight. I noticed the warm smile that lit her face. She was so appreciative in the fact, that I was taking the time to listen to what she was saying.
You could tell that her thoughts were drifting to another place, another time. Perhaps she was remembering a time of her youth, and back to the days when her children were young. It could have been too, that Betty was thinking on the joy that her grandchildren brought into her and her husband's lives, along with all of the wonderful memories she cherished. Then I realized once again, how much this person loved life and had lived a good productive one! Betty looked every bit of eighty something and the years had certainly taken their toll on her body. Inside though, in her heart and mind, she was not that old lady that she presented herself to the world as.
Inside, she didn't gage her memories by age . . . when she felt her heart swell with remembering things of her youth, and I'm sure she felt pride for her family, and perhaps, all of the accomplishments throughout her long life.
I believe what Betty is seeking in the winter of her life, is the consideration that is owed to her or any elder. They might not be too active, in today's sense of the word, yet, they have contributed much, to this world in their lifetime and should receive their "just desserts!"
The very thing that "God" has placed on my heart is this: How many times were we guilty of shrugging off an elderly person?
Thinking they were too slow, or maybe, they didn't have anything Important to say, or perhaps they didn't understand or whatever else comes to one's mind when finding themselves, face to face with the elderly.
Have you taken notice? When a younger person accompanies an elderly person, people will address the younger person. It's as though the elder person didn't have any sense of understanding at all, or perhaps . . . couldn't hear or speak!
If we give it some thought, I am sure we might remember Incident's where we could have, and should have acted differently. Could we have been helpful, polite or more caring toward an elderly person?
My wish and daily prayer is that we realize that these same "elders" were the backbone of this country that we have grown up in. It was their ideas and hard work that have brought us to where we are today. Each one of them, I believe, had a dream or has a story to tell, or maybe they have accomplished something that we can learn from.
My thought is this, if we would take a minute from our busy lives, lend an ear and take an interest in those stories, dreams , and accomplishments . . . A lot of wisdom would be gleaned from them!
My hope is that this article brings to light, the knowledgethat elderly people want our companionship, love, understanding and most of all, our "Utmost Respect!" In return, we will gain much from their wisdom and practical insight.
Copyright Judith Johnson Kypta
Current Email: 2012
Judith Johnson Kypta, A Published Author, resides along with her husband in Pennsylvania. After working many years as a Personnel Recruiter, Judith has several publishing's to her credit. Children's books, Para-Normal Fiction, Poetry. . . Check her page out at WWW.Amazon.com "Judith Johnson Kypta"